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Monday, 24 February 2014

Feb 24, 2014: News Updates

 Egypt’s government resigns

24/02 11:22 CET 31 mins ago
Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said on Monday the government is to resign.

“Today the cabinet took a decision to offer its resignation to the president of the republic,” Beblawi said in a televised statement. He gave no clear reason for the decision.

Beblawi was appointed after the army toppled president Mohamed Mursi last July following mass protests against his rule.

Peru's PM resigns after spat with first lady, finance minister

Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:37pm EST
LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva said on Monday that he was stepping down after just four months in office and a recent public spat with the finance minister and the first lady over his effort to raise the minimum wage.
The government did not immediately announce any other cabinet changes.
Villanueva said on local broadcaster RPP that President Ollanta Humala had accepted his resignation on Monday after he told a local newspaper that he was working on a new wage law with the finance ministry.

Ukraine's fugitive president wanted for mass murder

Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:28pm EST
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's new authorities issued an arrest warrant on Monday for mass murder against ousted president Viktor Yanukovich, who is on the run after being toppled by bloody street protests in which police snipers killed demonstrators.
Russia, Yanukovich's main backer, said it would not deal with Ukrainians who seized power from their elected leader in an "armed mutiny". It declared that Russian citizens' lives were under threat there, and contacted NATO to express concern.

Deutsche Bank to cut US unit’s assets by quarter to meet Fed rules

Deutsche Bank has for the first time laid out plans to slash its US balance sheet as it seeks to allay concerns over how it would deal with tough new rules imposed by the Federal Reserve on foreign banks.

 24 February 2014 Last updated at 14:10

Vatican: Pope creates new department to oversee finances

Vatican bank The Vatican bank is one of the world's most secretive financial institutions
A new department at the Vatican has been created by Pope Francis to oversee its finances following scandals at the institution.
The new ministry would study the "organisational and economic problems of the Holy See", said the Vatican.
An auditor will also oversee the department's dealings, it said.
In January, Italian police reported a senior Italian cleric was charged with laundering millions through the Vatican bank.

Seen On An ATM In Western Australia

With iron-ore stockpiles at record highs in China amid the escalating cash-for-steel financing debacles, one can only imagine the squeeze that is about to occur on the banks of a nation that is almost entirely economically dependent on said iron-ore mining production... which made us think when we saw this sign "justifying" holding low cash amounts in an Aussie bank ATM...
So no need for a withdrawal halt per se when you simply make it impossible for customers to get their money out...

US Air Force reveals ‘neighborhood watch' satellite program

Published time: February 23, 2014 14:12
The United States plans to send into orbit a pair of satellites to monitor spacecraft from other countries, as well as to track space debris, the head of Air Force Space Command said.

'Parallel state' phone-tapped thousands in Turkey: officials

Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:38pm EST
ANKARA (Reuters) - The network of a U.S.-based cleric illegally tapped thousands of telephones in Turkey to blackmail and concoct criminal cases as part of a campaign of covert influence over government, a top adviser to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

Brazil presses EU for undersea cable to skirt U.S. links

BRUSSELS Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:49am GMT

(Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff pressed ahead on Monday with plans to lay an undersea communications cable directly to Europe to reduce Brazil's reliance on the United States following reports that Washington spied on Brasilia.

No spying on friends: NSA bugs Merkel aides instead of chancellor

Published time: February 24, 2014 07:30

In the wake of President Obama's promise to stop spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the US intelligence has switched its attention to her top government officials, a German newspaper reported.

 Ruble Cracks Seen Before Ukraine’s Deadly Descent: Russia Credit

By Vladimir Kuznetsov Feb 24, 2014 10:31 AM GMT+0100
The ruble slumped 8 percent against the dollar last year as emerging-market assets were... Read More
Foreign investor holdings of Russian ruble government bonds slid to the lowest level in 10 months in December as the ruble capped its worst year since 2008 and political tensions in neighboring Ukraine were growing.

US And Israel Quietly Provide Military Support And Parts To Iran, Which In Turn Is Arming Syria

Before the Ukraine, there was Syria. Before Syria, there was Iran. For over 30 years, Iran was the perpetual strawman of every attempt to escalate hostilities in the middle east. One only needs to recall that the original "red line" was not Obama's but that of Israel's PM Netanyahu referring to Iran's nuclear program (which most likely was under the control of Stuxnet, and thus the NSA, more than it was Iran's to begin with)....

....To summarize: in an act of complete disregard for the official diplomatic song and dance, both Israel and the US are now providing military support to Iran, which in turn is providing military support to Syria, which is also getting military support from Russia. And now, just to make things more interesting, the same labyrinth of "military support" is about to be unleashed in the Ukraine, whose western half is just as likely getting arms and military equipment (not to mention funding)from the West under the table, while Russia, whose main Black Sea port is in the Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, is arming the Eastern part of the Ukraine.

 Feb. 24, 2014, 4:00 a.m. EST

HSBC shares drop 5% as profit disappoints

MADRID (MarketWatch) -- Shares of HSBC Holdings fell over 5% on Monday after the banking group posted a profit that fell short of expectations.

 24 February 2014 Last updated at 12:40

HSBC profits tick higher in 2013 helped by cost cuts

HSBC has reported a 9% rise in profit for last year, boosted by cost cuts as it restructured the business.
Reported pre-tax profit was $22.6bn (£13.6bn), compared with $20.6bn in 2012, the bank said.
HSBC said it had also increased its bonus pool for staff by 6% to $3.9bn for last year.

Will Another Creditanstalt Be Revealed Once The Hypo Alpe Aldria "Black Box" Is Opened?


Presenting Hypo Alpe Aldria (or "HAA" although certainly not funny as in funny HAA HAA: more shortly), a bank which in reality has been in the news for years following its nationalization in 2009 by the Austrian government to prevent a bank collapse. In fact, just last week, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said the government is right to avert the collapse of Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International AG, as he cited the precedent of Creditanstalt, whose crash helped trigger the 1930s depression. “The crash of Creditanstalt in 1931 caused economic meltdown,” Faymann told parliament’s lower house in Vienna today. “There was a consensus in 2009 to act where necessary, to avoid the mistakes of the 1930s, to avoid a collapse by nationalizing and by installing protection measures at the European level.” ...
...The real surprise of the Hypo Alpe Adria (HAA) situation is not that bondholders may lose money, but the sight of the third richest country in Europe by per capita income apparently looking for ways out of paying what are clearly guaranteed debts of a 100% nationalized bank, for HAA debt is guaranteed by the Austrian State of Carinthia under a deficiency guarante

G20 pledges to add $2 trillion to global economy

By Sophia Yan  @sophia_yan February 23, 2014: 11:23 PM ET

The largest global economies have pledged to install policies that will add $2 trillion to the world economy over the next five years.
The G20 -- the world's 19 richest nations and the European Union -- said the reforms aim to lift collective GDP by more than 2%.
"Precisely how G20 leaders plan to deliver on the Sydney promise to lift global GDP at least 2% by 2018 remains sketchy at best," said Societe Generale's Michala Marcussen.

Death finance: Bankers have never been so insecure

 February 24, 2014 09:15

Conspiracy theories suggest a massive banking cover up leading to widespread murder in financial markets. Whatever is afoot, several high profile banker deaths raise questions about the sustainability of the system.
...Ultimately, the financial system is in a parlous position and recent government changes have done little to ameliorate the situation. We can blame cowardice, incompetence, lack of vision, and plutocratic self-preservation amongst the banker-government-multinational socialist-corporatist nexus for many failings here. However, with the euro crisis festering, emerging markets in chaos and no clear understanding of western economic resilience to thing ought to be clear: Bankers have never been more insecure.

Greece to resume bailout talks with troika of lenders

Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:17AM
Greece is set to resume negotiations with its three international lenders over the cash-strapped European country’s austerity plans.
The talks are to begin in the Greek capital of Athens later on Monday between Greek officials and representatives from the troika - the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Russia police detain hundreds protesting against jailing of activists- Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:12pm

(Reuters) - Russian riot police detained hundreds of Kremlin opponents on Monday, moving swiftly to curb protests over the jailing of activists convicted of attacking police at a rally against President Vladimir Putin.
With the turmoil in Ukraine adding to tension between the Kremlin and its opponents, Putin foes including Alexei Navalny and members of protest band Pussy Riot were hauled away twice by police, first outside a courthouse and later near the Kremlin.

Street clashes in Brazil as 1000 march against World Cup spending

23 February, 2014 09:02 AM

Policemen arrest a demonstrator during a protest in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil. Demonstrators were rallying against government expenditure for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Saturday.

Israel in contact with terrorists in Syria: Israeli cmdr.

Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:9AM GMT
An Israeli commander has admitted that the Israeli military is in contact with the foreign-backed militant and terrorist groups inside Syria.
The Israeli commander said that the militants provide Israeli intelligence officials with information on the identity and medical condition of the wounded militants.
Some reports say hundreds of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists have received treatment in Israeli hospitals. Most of them have returned to Syria, where they fight government forces.

Bitcoin Prices Slide After Mt.Gox CEO Resigns From Foundation Board

In what appears yet another straw on the camel's back of Mt.Gox (following the re-freeze of account withdrawals), the Bitcoin Foundation this evening reported that:

    "effective immediately, Mt. Gox has submitted their resignation from the board of directors."

Bitcoin prices on the dying exchange tumbled on the announcement after quite an extreme volatility day - which saw prices swing from $151 to $239 and then down to $190 on the news.

Colorado stash: $184M in marijuana taxes

By Aaron Smith  @AaronSmithCNN February 20, 2014: 2:25 PM ET
 The committee projects revenue of about $610 million from retail and medical marijuana from Jan. 1 of this year to June 30, 2015, the end of the next fiscal year.

The state has an aggressive taxation policy, taxing marijuana three times during the process -- when it is produced, sold and bought.

 China goes on orange alert after smog runs out of control

24/02 10:10 CET
With some 15% of the country currently blanketed by choking smog, China has announced an orange alert and is sending teams of investigators out to major polluters in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei province.

 Joint US – South Korea annual military drills begin

24/02 06:43 CET
The US and South Korea have begun their annual joint military drills near the Korean peninsula.
Exercise Key Resolve practises command and control procedures, while Foal Eagle focuses on field combat.
Pyongyang often claims the drills are a means of launching an invasion, often reacting aggressively.

Mysterious polio-like illness...Polio in a New Dress

We have been conditioned by our own conditioned parents, family, friends, society in general and through one of the most successful media campaigns in the history of the world, that to even Question the validity of the Polio Vaccine victory in "eradicating Polio from the face of the earth" is almost on the same level as treason.    We have a medical society so steeped in misdirection and lies that most of their own doctors have bought the polio story hook, line and sinker.  To be truthful, it isn't all their fault.  When Pharmaceutical companies are allowed to "fund" medical schools and write medical journal articles based on their own products, you cannot possibly expect unbiased opinions.  This would be like allowing a tobacco lobbyist to write research papers on lung cancer.

I am going to show you where Polio has disappeared to and I am going to start by giving you information about some very well known diseases.  Please read them carefully.

CNN to end 'Piers Morgan Live'

By Charles Riley  @CRrileyCNN February 23, 2014: 10:17 PM ET
CNN is pulling the plug on "Piers Morgan Live" after just three years in a key primetime slot.
The program, hosted by former newspaper editor Piers Morgan, had struggled to gain traction at the 9 p.m. hour, and was routinely beaten in the ratings by cable competitors. ...
... Morgan has also been under pressure as a result of an inquiry into phone hacking by U.K. papers.
The former Daily Mirror editor was interviewed late last year while in Britain by officers involved in the investigation into claims that journalists illegally hacked people's voice mail to get stories.

‘Six Californias’ plan to split up most populous US state gets green light

Edited time: February 23, 2014 04:22
​A wealthy US investor got the go-ahead for his campaign to carve up California into six separate states, according to the Secretary of State's Office. Critics call the plan just another scheme for the wealthy to hoard tax dollars.

Not all patent trolls are demons

By Timothy Holbrook

(CNN) -- Thursday, the White House revealed its efforts to reform the patent system, following up on President Obama's call in the State of the Union address.

The White House called on Congress to pass legislation to combat patent trolls, known less pejoratively as "patent assertion entities." PAE's are firms that don't manufacture anything. They buy patents and threaten to sue people to extract licensing fees, like the mythical troll charging a fee to cross a bridge. Apple, Google and AT&T have each faced more than 100 such suits since 2009.